Aileen I've only been involved in one real life auction. It was brilliant. It was held in an empty pool hall on Camden Street (now it is an under-aged drinking joint) on a Saturday afternoon. They started by auctioning a collection of spanners for a euro. Scores of excited hands went up. "By the spanners" my partner said. "We don't need spanners" I said. What we needed, I decided, was a deep fat fryer, all the better, all the safer, to make late night, back from the pub chips. I bid and I bid and I bid and I won. I ended up buying that "bargain" at pretty much the same price as I could have got it in any local shop, which way beyond the prices suggested on the flier advertising the event. I learned a valuable lesson that day; go for the spanners.
All of this is a round about way of passing on this lovely blog post about the irrationalities of auctions from the interesting blog http://www.rethinkingmarkets.org/ (Iâ€™ve added them to our blog roll).